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Thread: Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

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    Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

    Bit of a long shot but hopefully someone here will be able to help.

    I run a Gen 8 Microserver with 2 x 2Tb hard drives at the moment. They're recognised as a single volume through the built in RAID controller. From there I've spliced off a ~200gb partition for the install of the OS.

    I've since changed my mind and want to change the entire setup so it boots from a small 2.5" drive in the top and that will leave the larger drives whole and, hopefully, spinning down regularly. Here is where my problem starts, how do I do that ?!

    Is it as simple as imagining the boot partition onto the new drive and setting the boot order in the BIOS? Then I can reclaim the old partition and expand the volume to completely fill the 2 drives.

    I'm scared just to "give it a try" as I'm pretty sure I don't have enough space storage media to copy the files currently stored on there on to, meaning I really can't mess it up. Additionally, I use the server to automate the backups of the 2 windows computers in my network, being core data plus my flatmates entire portfolio of art, design and coding work. And you know that if I mess the server up it would just make the odds of a computer going poof that much more likely!

    So, in summary, has anyone moved boot devices on Windows Server 2012 and not broken it ?

    Thanks!
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    Re: Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

    Nobody with any bright sparks?

    Think I'll make an account on a specific server forum
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    Re: Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

    Not done it specifically, but I wouldn't think about approaching it without backing up all the data onto a storage drive first (frankly you should have a good backup regime in place anyway!). If you don't have enough spare storage to do that, buy some! RAID != backup.

    I'd then clone the boot partition onto the new drive, remove and store the RAID pair (so you've got them available in case the cloned drive doesn't boot), and try booting the server just from the new drive. Once you're confident that works, you can rebuild the array, delete the old system partition, and expand the storage one - or just reformat the drives and build the storage array fresh.

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    Re: Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

    Imaging the drive and restoring it on another should be no problem, but there are quite a few hoops you need to jump though to boot off a drive attached to a Gen 8 Microserver ODD SATA port.

    http://homeservershow.com/forums/ind...ssion/?p=67539

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowsey View Post
    I'm scared just to "give it a try" as I'm pretty sure I don't have enough space storage media to copy the files currently stored on there on to, meaning I really can't mess it up.
    I think this is a problem that needs addressing first.

    While imaging the OS and transferring it to another drive is non destructive and fairly safe, i.e. don't delete the old OS and boot partitions until you're confident everything's working on the new drive. If the data is important, back it up regardless.
    Last edited by DDY; 03-08-2016 at 05:22 PM.

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    Re: Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Not done it specifically, but I wouldn't think about approaching it without backing up all the data onto a storage drive first (frankly you should have a good backup regime in place anyway!). If you don't have enough spare storage to do that, buy some! RAID != backup.
    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    http://homeservershow.com/forums/ind...ssion/?p=67539

    I think this is a problem that needs addressing first.
    Guys, stop busting my chops , my homeserver is the first step to my safety plan! (Though I will admit, the fact it has taken me so long is shameful, but I'm changing my ways!)

    Think I'll just hang fire for the time being, been having some Windows related issues on my current PC so I may have a pretty big home project in the works to which this could form part of.
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    Re: Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

    If you have the microserver set to raid the drives never spin down, this is due to it being a cheap server.
    If you go into AHCI mode and drop all arrays it will spin down but the fans speed will go from it's lowest 6% to around 18%
    You could make a software array in windows or even use storage spaces. The built in rad is basically software anyway, just a flashed intel controller to say it's a B120 or whatever it's called.

    No way round it.

    Maybe dig around on here http://homeservershow.com/forums/ind...m/88-ms-gen-8/

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    Re: Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

    I have done a little digging, that's why the drives are in any form of RAID in the first place, so as to not send the fan crackers. It's bearable at 6%, it would not be at 18% I'd imagine.

    I'm going to live with it for the time being. I think I have scope to do the jiggering next month.

    On the topic of data safety, I am interested to hear how you would protect ~2.2TB of pictures and other important data?

    Regular dumps onto externals (hard drives or discs?) and leave them dormant? Subscription based backup services (I've just looked into Backblaze and they appear to offer an unlimited personal service for £4 a month?), or something totally different?

    I'm currently aspiring to the 3-2-1 rule. With the inclusion of a subscription based service running of my server, and my desktop running daily backups to my server would my setup satisfy the principles?
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    Re: Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

    As far as installing and running a 2.5" drive as OS - you can do this easily enough through the Intelligent Provisioning interface - go to the storage/raid section and change the boot drive. I ran Server 2012 R2 for a few months on my Gen8.

    There is a Microservers for Dummies PDF available on the Home Server Show website.

    My first step would be to grab a bargain USB HDD and make sure you have a separate copy of your important data - WD do recertified MyBook units pretty cheap - See here - £45 for 2TB and they're pretty good for the money, and it will serve as another layer to your backup strategy, once you're up and running.

    Sorry to retread what others have already said, but RAID isn't Backup and, until you have a backup, don't experiment on a system that contains the only copy of your data.
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    Re: Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowsey View Post
    I have done a little digging, that's why the drives are in any form of RAID in the first place, so as to not send the fan crackers. It's bearable at 6%, it would not be at 18% I'd imagine.

    I'm going to live with it for the time being. I think I have scope to do the jiggering next month.

    On the topic of data safety, I am interested to hear how you would protect ~2.2TB of pictures and other important data?

    Regular dumps onto externals (hard drives or discs?) and leave them dormant? Subscription based backup services (I've just looked into Backblaze and they appear to offer an unlimited personal service for £4 a month?), or something totally different?

    I'm currently aspiring to the 3-2-1 rule. With the inclusion of a subscription based service running of my server, and my desktop running daily backups to my server would my setup satisfy the principles?
    You can do a single drive raid 0 array that will also work in ahci if needed.
    I have a 2.5" ssd pushed into an empty bay and held in place with blu tak. The caddy still slots in after

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    Re: Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

    Moving Windows is really easy. Do a native image backup to an external data-source (say, a network drive on your workstation), then pop in the Windows install disk with your new drive intact and recover the image to the new drive.

    I'm not sure how the Gen8 RAID setup works, but I'd disable/disconnect it whilst doing it. If things don't go according to plan, re-enable it. But do double check that you can do this and it doesn't destroy your RAID if you disconnect etc.

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